When Central Crossing High School junior Meryl Fowler participates in the upcoming Ohio Ambassadors of Music tour of Europe, she hopes to not only use her singing skills but give her French speaking abilities a rehearsal.
"I take French classes, so I'm looking forward to trying out my French in a real-life situation in France and not just in the classroom," Fowler said.
More than 125 student musicians from across the state will travel to England, France, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Austria, Italy and Germany during the 16-day tour, which gets underway June 24.
Students were nominated for the music tour based on their level of musicianship, leadership and character and were selected for participation by invitation. Each nominee received a copy of an ambassador of goodwill proclamation from the governor's office honoring their selection.
"My former music teacher nominated me and I didn't even know I was nominated," Fowler said. "When I found out I was picked, I was so surprised,
"I'm so looking forward to this trip," she said. "There's no way I would ever be able to visit all these European counties otherwise."
The student musicians will gather later this month at Bowling Green State University for three days of rehearsals before their departure. They will also give a free performance at the university's Kobacker Hall.
Dr. Bruce Moss, director of bands at Bowling Green, will serve as music director for the tour.
The Ohio Ambassadors include both an honor band and chorus.
Fowler, who has participated in choir since sixth grade, is also an instrumentalist, although she will only sing during the European trip.
She started playing piano when she was 6.
"I started taking piano lessons from my grandmother," Fowler said. "Music was just something we did in our family."
Fowler is a percussionist and plays bass drum in the CCHS marching band and a variety of percussion instruments in the symphonic band. She has participated in show choir as a member of the instrumental combo and as a vocal performer and also participates in symphonic choir, concert choir and women's chorus.
"I think I like singing the best, because you can express yourself more freely rather than just playing music someone else has written," she said.
While the ambassadors tour will include a busy performance schedule, a lot of time will also be set aside for sightseeing.
"In London, we're going to get to see a musical. I'm pretty excited about that," Fowler said.
While she plans to stay involved in music after high school, "I don't think it would be my major in college or be a career I would pursue," she said. "It's just always something I think I'll be interested in."